Thursday, April 28, 2016

Goodbye April: A Stream of Consciousness

April is a hard month, and I'm glad it's almost over.

To be honest, April, May, and June are all hard months.

My migraines are back with a vengeance in addition to my usual chronic muscle pain, and it's difficult to cope with life when in severe pain head to toe around the clock. Not to mention the sleep deprivation, which I believe is slowly consuming me. I'm just so tired.

Although currently in physical and mental turmoil, I still believe I'm doing the best I can.

Sometimes, I think a big hug would be helpful.

Then again, I'm in too much pain for that.

I've made a to-list for the next several weeks, which includes renovating some of my blogs and getting rid of others. I'll let you know what I've done after I've done it. I don't expect this blog to change much, if at all.

I actually have quite a few blogs. Some have been neglected, like my food blog. Maybe I'll bring it up to date and share the link. I'll think about it. I also have a lot of updating to do on the art blog, as well as the Etsy store. I may put a few things on eBay as well.

Camp NaNoWriMo is pretty much over. I exceeded 10K and added it to my previous totals. I write a lot of nonsense and notes in addition to the actual manuscript, but once I'm done, I do expect the finished product to be novella-sized. I've got to get more sleep so I can focus on this.

I have several art projects planned as well. But first, I am spring cleaning the apartment. My closets are beginning to look like closets again, so that's kind of exciting. I must really be getting old to feel good about the condition of my closets.

I still haven't had a Coca-Cola since Mardi Gras. I want one every day, especially with these migraines, but I have resisted so far. I do drink a lot of tea.

Renal clinic is coming up. I may have a driving buddy. Hopefully that'll work out. I haven't hung out with her in many years. The trip to and from Jackson will give us plenty of time to catch up. It's Cinco de Mayo, so hopefully I will feel like stopping somewhere along the way for some quick festivities.

I've got to figure out my diet. It's a bit rocky, and my weight is at a standstill. As long as I don't gain, I won't freak out. I do have 15 lbs or so to lose, however, and that sounds so easy, but it seems to be one of my biggest challenges. Being on a high protein, fat diet is the culprit, as well as my inability to properly exercise with Muscular Dystrophy, but I am still holding onto hope for a solution.

I've resigned from American Christianity until further notice. Sorry for not elaborating a while back when I said I was going to. It hasn't been easy to write about. Still theist, but I will not associate with jerks who are dead set on mistreating those who aren't like them. I have family and friends suffering because of this, and my own story is long and painful. I will tell it eventually.

I finally installed curtains in my apartment after a year and a half.

Midori the Gypsymobile is suffering a bit. I hope she hangs in there for years to come, but she's definitely slowing down. God bless my big 'ol Buick.

I've reached 1100 questions on Ask. I have a feeling I've blocked one or two of my askers, so things are pretty quiet these days. At any rate, if you want to ask questions, feel free. I still check it fairly regularly. The only things I don't talk about are sex and specific relationships such as an ex, relative, or friend. Getting that personal crosses the line.

Every time I say I'm going to take a break from Facebook, I end up not doing it because I'm a loser with no willpower. Sometimes, I post even more than I did before I said it. I should probably stop saying it now, you think? I really am going to take a break, though. Maybe.

If my health hadn't plummeted, I would be obtaining my first of two Masters this month. College nearly killed me (literally), but I miss it and I miss planning my future. I was proud of the goals I had laid out.

I wish I were well so badly. I don't understand people who say they embrace their disease or are somehow thankful for it. Screw that. Systemic disease has robbed my life. I live far too alone, in far too much pain, with far too many limitations to sugar-coat this. It's hell, and I don't think I should be judged or criticized for feeling that way. I've never been a ray of sunny sunshine wrapped in rainbows and butterflies, and I don't expect to morph into one in this lifetime. At least I'm real.

And I'm still very grateful for what I do have, in spite of it all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Four Words

Don't listen to them
You are not possessed
These people are delusional
Your illness is legitimate
You need real answers
Church is a scam
They are manipulating you
This isn't your fault
You deserve much better

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Dearly Beloved"

"...we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life."

Stunned. I got nothing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Grief and Judgment

I almost forgot that I talked about Mom last year. I really don't have anything to add to it, other than to talk about grief. A club nobody wants to be a member of, grief is a deep and multifaceted process. I've seen on social media (a cesspool, I realize, but I digress) on several occasions the rituals and remembrances of people's loved ones being criticized, including my own losses. Someone I grew up with, who sent condolences after hearing about my mother's death, later made a snide remark in response to the above-linked post that nobody wanted to read my emotional crap. Why she felt it necessary to seek likes and comments at my expense all of a sudden is beyond me. She had been out partying that night and decided to check her news feed at some point. I told her I wouldn't forget what she said, suggested she stay offline while she's intoxicated, and we haven't spoken since. In response to me posting photos on another account of my family's gravesite, someone snarked "What kind of person takes pictures of their dead relatives' graves?" That would be me, and by the way, what kind of person sits in front of a computer screen and judges others' grief?

As you can see in the photo above, there were some smiles. There were also some tears, and some really hard, horrible times. When I announced her death two years ago, an acquaintance simply said "whatever", as if I was giving her too much credit by being devastated. The woman gave birth to me. Sometimes I wish she hadn't. Sometimes I still get angry and ask God why things happened the way they did. I ask why my parents had children when they so frequently rejected us. Some questions are already answered. Others may never be, and while I do my best to move forward, I will probably never stop asking.

Let me get to the point: grief involves not only a tangible loss, but also a loss of possibilities. People mourn the death of a loved one, because they loved them. They can also rightfully mourn for what could have been, should have been, and will never be. Hope is everything, and to helplessly watch it fade away forever is life-changing. There is no reconciliation. There is only emptiness. To deny someone's personal journey with profound loss, you must either lack empathy or live an incredibly charmed life. Not understanding something doesn't give you a license to be ugly about it. Respect is a basic human right.

Here's the thing: this road is mine and mine alone. Nobody else belongs there. There may be others who are impacted, but their grief process is individual to them and mine is individual to me. Nobody gets to tell anyone else how they should be reacting or feeling or coping with death. All opinions are invalid. In a nutshell: know your place.

I am here because she gave me life. I will always miss my mama.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fulfilling Relationships (via Good News Network) and thoughts on boundaries

"Be open to new people and situations but trust your instincts. You never know where a new relationship might be found whether it’s a new business connection, a potential romance or a new friendship. When you open yourself up to new opportunities you give the right people the chance to meet you, but trust your instincts and verify that new people entering your life actually share your values."

"Set your own boundaries and don’t be apologetic. For your own health and sanity, it’s okay to say no or tell someone they’ve pushed you too far or asked for too much. If you know it is time to cut the cord—be bold, direct and firm. Unless you want them to hang around and play the victim, don’t fall into the trap."

This is a decent article on bringing the right people into your life and dealing with the wrong ones. I read a lot of articles like this. I think it's important to understand the psyche of relationships of all types, especially friendships in my case, to remain aware of what I and others are setting on the table.

A lot of people previously in my life had no concept of boundaries, and considered themselves attacked when I set them. They were so used to their self-made superiority and manipulative ways, they tried to make me look like the antagonist for standing up for myself. Some of them still do. They want so desperately to be the victim in the game they were playing, but little do they want to admit that it was never a two-player game. They were all by themselves in their heads, and they ran out of quarters before they even asked if I wanted to play along (answer for future reference: I don't). Oops, game over. You lose.

I'm thankful for what I've learned over the years. As hard and horrible as some of those lessons have been, I'm glad I'm finally starting to put my health, safety, and sanity first. I'm not sorry for that; I'm only sorry I didn't do so much sooner.

I have such wonderful friends, including several new friends that I've recently made, that I wouldn't trade for the world. They've taught me more than they realize, and I am better for knowing them. Without a doubt, more changes are ahead in my world...hopefully all of them good.

(Vagueblogging is therapeutic sometimes, don't you think?)


Monday, April 4, 2016

More birthday shenanigans, and what's going on this month

I received a coupon for a birthday haircut.
So I got a birthday haircut.
It takes an absurd amount of conditioner and smoothing oil
to not look like a frizzy, crazy, poofy-haired hag.
I've never liked short hair on me, but people tell me this isn't short.
Beauty is not my genre, friends.
I'm guess I'm low-maintenance.
I just want to sleep, OK?

My stepfather took me out to lunch for my
birthday (we finally managed to meet up after Easter).
I had my first rib-eye steak ever. Yes...EVER.

Then we went to Hobby Lobby.
He had never been there before. Yes...NEVER.
He was overwhelmed, and I was too weak to go around much of the store
but he insisted on buying me some art supplies.
I chose watercolor, because it's something I want to pursue.
He has always been my biggest fan where Art is concerned
and I appreciate his support more than I can express.

Oh, and the world map was only $5.65. I've always wanted one. :)

I had dinner with friends also, and they threw me a party.
The food was great. I was given a nice card and this lovely gift.
I have such thoughtful friends. They used to be in my Bob Ross
workshops (it's been five years since my last class...hard to believe).
I'm glad we're pals. My students are still the best, and I miss them.

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this on the blog at all.
My brain is so fried from sleep deprivation.
I participated in #TwitterArtExhibit!
I sent a colored pencil postcard to Trygve Lie Gallery
in New York City. It's on the wall with hundreds of other
cards for sale with 100% of the purchase benefitting a
great non-profit called Foster Pride.
It was a cool thing to be a part of!

These video blogs are so pathetic, y'all. Haha.
21 minutes of pointlessness. Enjoy if you dare.

Edit Note 7:45pm: The appointments mentioned in the above vlog were canceled. I mentioned the reasons why on Twitter, if you want TMI. Next doc appointment will be renal clinic in May.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Back to Camp

Yep, I'm doing it again. NaNoWriMo in November was pretty miserable, and I said I was going to take a long break and not do NaNo again for a while, but here I am. Not a surprise, if you know me. It turns out four months was enough of a rest. I'm set up and ready to crank out 10K words. The great thing about Camp NaNoWriMo, as opposed to Official NaNoWriMo, is that you set your own word count goal. Official NaNo is 50K, but Camp can be anything you want. There is a lot less pressure during Camp. Truthfully, there's little pressure with either one, but Official NaNo feels more like a competition (even though it's technically not). At any rate, I prefer the nature of Camp NaNoWriMo.

I don't think a word of that made sense. Oh well, it's a fitting paragraph for the weird day I've had.

I'll post a few blogs this month, but I am hoping to focus mostly on the novella. I'll keep you in the loop, though. I hope Spring is treating everyone well. I have yet to see improvement in my condition, but I'm trying to remain optimistic.